Energy communities works according to the idea of collective self-consumption. On the one hand a generator of green and local energy, on the other hand the consumers. Generator and consumer, everybody wins.

In a self-consumption community, someone who generates energy, often via solar panels, sells their surplus to local residents. 

The principle of collective self-consumption

What is the principle of this short energy cycle? An establishment, for example a school, is fitted with solar panels. This school is going to benefit from producing electricity for its own needs. When there is surplus generation, the electricity is then fed into the grid. Only members of the local community, acting as purchasers, will be able to benefit from this energy

In order to be remunerated for the feed-in, the generator does not use the green certificate system but goes through an intermediary. This intermediary manages the relationship between the generator and the buyers.  

Collective self-consumption, a way of producing and consuming green energy locally: a local generator and local consumers. The result is financial gain for all.
 

The community: one generator, many consumers  

A collective self-consumption community is composed of these two types of stakeholders: 

The green energy generator  

The electricity generator is an entity that has installed solar panels to generate its own energy. When its electricity consumption is lower than its generation, it feeds the surplus back into the grid. Classic. What’s the difference? The feed-in benefits local residents.

At present, it is mainly schools that act as generators within the framework of collective self-consumption. The resale of the electricity generated represents an additional source of income. 

Consumers of collective self-consumption

Who will be the beneficiaries of this green energy? These are local residents who have agreed to buy locally generated electricity. They receive energy from this "supplier" who resells’ the electricity at a lower price than their regular supplier. 

However, electricity from collective self-consumption does not always cover all their needs. As a result, community members continue to receive energy from their usual supplier. 

Advantages of collective self-consumption  

The principle of collective self-consumption will allow:  

  • the sharing of green and local energy between generators and their neighbours 
  • the promotion of renewable energy for all, especially for those who are not able to have solar panels installed
  • a contribution to the achievement of climate objectives to reduce CO2 emissions
  • the creation of local initiatives potentially supported by public authorities

Collective self-consumption: a financial advantage for everyone

Both sides of this energy community benefit financially from the arrangement.

Consumers benefit from attractive electricity prices

Final consumers purchase electricity at a lower cost. As a result, bills from their regular energy suppliers will be lower. This works out since some of the energy comes from another, cheaper supplier.  

Also, in terms of environmental impact, the consumers are making a gesture for the planet by consuming more green energy.

In other words, consumers receive two bills: one from their traditional supplier and one from the intermediary who pays the green electricity generator.

The generator creates a source of income

As a self-generator and self-consumer, the generator saves energy costs. On top of this, with the resale of the surplus to the participants in the system, it increases its cash flow.

This system is advantageous because the surplus energy is resold by the generator at a higher rate than the resale of green certificates.  

It should also be noted that this generator can boast of locally reducing CO2 consumption by using solar energy.